It Takes A Villager



So after the washing machine incident of 20-and-16, I had some clean-up to deal with. There was the not-so-small matter of getting a new washer as well as addressing the load of clothes that had been in the old washer when it decided to fight water with fire. Neither task was enviable, and, as it happened, neither task ended up being too ugly.


I found myself a floor model washer/dryer for half price (yippee!) and it was delivered and installed yesterday. It seems to be quieter than the old one, which is definitely a bonus. I also think it may be more efficient. All in all, I expect to be quite happy with this new washer. Fingers crossed, anyway.


As for the funkified clothes that witnessed the washing machine fire up-close and personal, they needed some attention. I suspected the smokey odor would respond well to a quick rinse. But the bigger problem was the grease that had gotten on some of the clothes. (I think the grease leaked out and somehow got inside the drum when the guts of the machine went ka-put. Ugh.) My friend Nicole texted me to say she’d done a quick online search and thought maybe some good, old-fashioned, dish-washing Dawn would do the trick. I mean, that’s what environmentalists use to clean baby ducks after oil spills, so surely it was worth a try to get some oil spots out of my cute-as-pie summer tops. I mention those cute clothes because I don’t have too many of them. Most of my stuff is utilitarian and more worthy of paint spills. I can’t help it, as I yam what I yam. Anyhoo – I stationed myself and my greasy clothes by the kitchen sink and started spot-cleaning. And you know what? It worked! Every single spot came out with a bit of hand scrubbing. Good old Dawn.


I was a bit stressed about the possibility of losing some of my nice clothes. Fortunately, my friend came through with a solution. I know they say “it takes a village,” but sometimes it only takes a villager.  Lucky for me, I know a few nice villagers, and they’re awesome. Just like my cute-as-pie summer tops.

Dirty Laundry



Our washing machine is on the fritz. It will be repaired – eventually – but for now we’ve got a big pile of dirty laundry. And it’s growing.


My great grandmother, Granny Vera, had an old-school washing machine. During most of the year, she’d operate it out on the back porch, where it resided. (On the coldest winter days, she’d roll it into the kitchen for that day’s laundry.) I seem to recall an extension cord dangling from the overhead, bare-bulbed light socket in the kitchen, snaked out to the porch for power. She’d run a garden hose from the nearest spigot over to the basin to fill it. There was no lid, so the machine’s back-and-forth would slosh water all over the rotting boards of the porch. The attached wringer was a hand-cranked model. Granny would have to maneuver the laundry from the tub up into the wringer rods, all while cranking that bad boy by hand.


I still remember the day my great grandfather – Big Papa – brought a brand new washing machine home for Granny Vera. She was so excited, she did a little dance. It was basically the same model as the old one, only the wringer was automatic as well. All Granny Vera had to do then was feed the laundry through. No more cranking. You wouldn’t have thought something so simple could be so important, but I swear, y’all – the woman shed grateful tears.


Looking back on those old days and remembering how hard Granny worked, I realize I can deal with my current pile of dirty laundry. No complaints here.